Brandon Bickham, The Delong Co., Inc.
Brandon has worked for The Delong Co., Inc for the past 13 years; his current role is Export Sales Manager. The Delong Co., Inc. is a 100 year old family owned and operated business headquartered in Clinton, Wisconsin.
The Grain Division originates and merchandises grains and feedstuffs domestically and for export. Delong’s annual sales are U.S. 1 billion with an annual export volume of 2.4 million metric ton. What began 30 years ago as specialty soybean exports to Japan, has now turned Delong into one of the leading containerized shippers of U.S. grains and feedstuffs, from over 30 locations throughout the United States. Brandon attended Chadron State College, and holds a B.A. in Agri-Business and Finance. He currently resides in Clinton, Wisconsin.
Derek Haigwood, United Soybean Board
Derek Haigwood is a fourth-generation row-crop farmer who grows soybeans, rice, corn, cotton, grain sorghum and wheat with his wife, Shannon, on their farm in Newport, Arkansas. They have two sons, Judah and Samuel. Derek servers as Director on the United Soybean Board (USB). In December 2015, Derek and his wife Shannon won the Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 2015 Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award. Derek has served on the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s Board of Directors for four years and has traveled extensively with the organization in helping to create and build preference for U.S. Soy worldwide.
Tom Hammer, National Oilseed Processors Association
Tom Hammer became President of the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) in September 2001. NOPA’s members are engaged in the crushing of U.S. soybeans, sunflower, canola, flaxseed and safflower. As the Association’s CEO, he is responsible for the strategic management, tactical administration, and operation of DC office activities and all staff as well as communication with the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs.
Tom has over 40 years of involvement in the Washington agricultural and international trade policy area. He has extensive experience in both the government and private sector.
Hammer’s government experience includes service as Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1982. Currently, Hammer serves as Vice Chair on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Council (APAC) for Trade to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S Trade Representative.
He is a member of several industry organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM), the Council of Manufacturing Associations, the U.S Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Agricultural Roundtable, and the Manufacturing Action Council. He is also a member of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and its Sustainability and Market Access Strategic Utilization Team.
Hammer received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Marietta College, Marietta Ohio and earned his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the George Washington University, Washington, DC.
He resides in Washington, DC with his wife Anne.
Dr. Andrew Jordan, Jordan Associates
Andrew Jordan is an agricultural engineering consultant specializing in sustainable production systems. Jordan is an advisor to Cotton Council International, Cotton Incorporated, U. S. Cotton Trust Protocol, American Peanut Council and US Soybean Export Council. Jordan works with agricultural research scientists, conservation groups, and food and trade organizations to develop sustainability and social standards and measurement systems for agricultural crops.
Jordan serves as the executive director of the Cotton Growers Warehouse Association, is co-owner and science director for Secure Food Solutions, Technical advisor to AgLaunch--a farm technology business accelerator, and a board director of Agricenter International--a thousand-acre agricultural research, conservation, and education center.
He earned engineering degrees from the University of Georgia and Clemson University.
Jordan’s business is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. He and his wife, Susan, are active in design and installation of drinking water treatment systems for underserved communities in Ghana, West Africa.
Gary Martin, North American Export Grains Association
Gary C. Martin has served since June of 2000 as President and Chief Executive Officer of the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA). Since 2014 he has served as the President of the International Grain Trade Coalition. In addition, his many industry leadership activities include service with the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialog for Trade, the Canada-U.S. Grain and Seed Trade Task Group and the Board of Directors of Soy Export Sustainability LLC.
Before assuming the presidency of NAEGA, Gary was a NAEGA Board Director and officer, representing Farmland Industries, Inc. At Farmland he had several responsibilities including Director of Trade and International Relations, Director of Grain Marketing, and Founder and President of Farmland Graños in Mexico. From 1990 to 1992 Mr. Martin served the Administration of George H.W. Bush at the US Department of Agriculture as Deputy Administrator of Commodity Operations and as an officer of the Commodity Credit Corporation. In the first year of the Clinton Administration, from 1992 to 1993, he served as an advisor to the Special Ambassador to the former Soviet Union at the U.S. Department of State.
Gary earned a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is also a graduate of the University of Missouri, Institute of Cooperative Leadership, and has graduate studies in International Transactions at the George Mason University. Gary and his wife Denise reside near Leesburg, Virginia USA.
Monte Peterson, American Soybean Association
Monte Peterson, a grower from Valley City, N.D., has been on the American Soybean Association (ASA) Board of Directors since 2015. He’s served on various committees such as Membership and Corporate Relations, Finance and Administrative Services and Strategic Planning. Peterson currently serves on the Trade Policy and International Affairs Committee of ASA and on the Agricultural Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He represents ASA on the U.S. Soybean Export Council's Board of Directors where he is currently Chairman. Peterson also serves on the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association (NDSGA) Board of Directors with focus on its Legislative Committee. He also served on the North Dakota Soybean Council (NDSC) from 2006 – 2013 serving as Chairman for three years and Research Chair two years, during his term. He continues to serve on the Council’s Market Committee. Peterson is a fourth generation farmer who began his farming career in 1980 after receiving a Business Administration degree from North Dakota State College of Science. He and his wife continue working on the family farm where he grew up, producing corn and soybeans. Peterson and his wife Penny have two daughters and two granddaughters.
Dr. Jaime Picarra, Portuguese Feed Industry Association
Jaime Piçarra is the executive secretary of IACA, Portuguese Feed Industry Association. He is the Vice-President of the Industrial Compound Feed Production Committee of FEFAC (European Feed Compounder Industry Association), coordinator of the FEFAC Task Force on CAP Reform and FEFAC representative in Civil Dialogue Group on Arable Crops of the European Commission and also at Common Agriculture Policy, and International Aspects on Agriculture in DG AGRI (European Commission). He also follow sustainable issues, in particular FEFAC strategy on Sustainable Soybean. He is the coordinator of the working group on Agriculture Policy and External Relations of FIPA (Portuguese Food and Drink Industry Federation) and FIPA delegate at the Competitiveness Committee in FoodDrinkEurope, the European Food and Drink Industry Organization. He is the Chairman of the General Meeting of CIB (Information Center on Biotechnology). He authored several articles on GMO, agricultural markets and Common Agriculture Policy and participant, as moderator or speaker in Conferences in Portugal, and an international level, related to these issues. FEFAC Honorary Member since April 2016.
Dr Soon-Bin Neoh, Soon Soon Group
Dr Soon-Bin Neoh is the CEO of the Soon Soon Group of Companies in Malaysia which is a diversified Grain, Oilseed and Oil processing company. He has 40 years of experience in the industry. He was educated as a scientist obtaining his BSc and PhD from the University of London and did postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago. The company has 2 soybean crushing plants which use mainly US soybeans and is the large oilseed crusher in Malaysia. He strongly believes that US soybeans are of the better quality and over the last 40 years has been involved in many collaborative projects with the American Soybean Association and the U.S. Soybean Export Council. He is one of the original members of this Advisory Committee and was involved in the development of the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol.
Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, The Nature Conservancy
Carrie Vollmer-Sanders is the North America Agriculture Engagement Strategy Director for The Nature Conservancy. She helps coordinate the Conservancy’s efforts to work with the agricultural businesses and organizations to reduce nutrient loss from agricultural land impacting our air, freshwater, and oceans. Carrie received the White House Champion of Change Award in 2014 for her leadership in developing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program for Lake Erie. Prior to joining TNC in 2010, Carrie was the Agricultural Ecology Specialist at Michigan Farm Bureau. She has a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education and a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, both from Michigan State University. Carrie and her husband, Ryan, live in Angola, Indiana with their two sons. They own and operate Grains and Greens, Inc, a farm where they grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and of course cover crops.
Megan Weidner, Bunge
Megan Weidner joined Bunge in 2015 as the Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. Megan serves on the Board of Directors for Agriculture Future of America and Field to Market. Megan has received several awards including Change Maker of Tomorrow by Keep Akron Beautiful and 40 under 40 by the St. Louis Business Journal. Megan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia in soil, environmental, and atmospheric science, a Graduate Certificate in advanced studies in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver and a leadership certificate from Washington University in St. Louis. Megan currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dave White, United Policy, LLC
Dave has more than 40 years of professional leadership experience in natural resource conservation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and in the private sector. Dave worked for NRCS in numerous locations throughout the United States and became Chief of the agency from 2009 to 2012. As Chief, Dave led, directed, and managed the United States’ largest private lands natural resource conservation organization. At his time as Chief, NRCS’s annual budget exceeded $4 billion, employed almost 11,000 professional staff, and worked out of 2,800 offices across the United States and its territories.
Dave has also spent significant time on Capitol Hill. In 2001 he served on a detail to Indiana Senator Richard Lugar and helped developed the conservation title of the 2002 Farm Bill. In 2007, he was detailed to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s office in Washington, D.C., where he helped craft the conservation title of the 2008 Farm Bill.
Currently, Dave serves as president of Ecosystem Services Exchange which focused on advancing edge-of-field conservation practices to improve water quality. He is also partner in the 9b Group, a benefit corporation dedicated to conservation and the sustainability of our natural resources.
Dave is married, has two grown children, one grandson, and two rescue dogs. Dave refuses to watch TV, believes that dogs are the most wonderful species on Earth, and still marvels that he somehow managed to graduate from the University of Missouri.